Tuesday, March 20, 2012

KYOKO HASHIMOTO STUDIO

Acrylic and Sterling Silver Bibi Ring from
Prototype Collection
Located in Japan’s Prefecture of Nara stands the Buddhist Horyuji Temple.  Within its storied walls are monks’ quarters, dining and lecture halls, and sculptures.  Japan is also the birthplace of Kyoko Hashimoto.

I like the idea that many jewelers including British jewelry designers Gail Klevan and Sue Gregor, Ceren Keyman (Turkey) and Alexis Bittar (USA) built their respective collections using an industrial material like plastic.  There is a bit of an ugly duckling factor to it. 

I am amazed to see that something as common and every day as plastic can become astonishing and elegant wearable art pieces.  

Hashimoto implements acrylic and polyester resin—occasionally offset with sterling silver or brass--in collections that are clean and simple yet unique.

Though Hashimoto’s design approach is classic in the sense of simplicity and purity of form she manages to create idiosyncratic pieces that are not glamorous in the traditional sense but unmistakably whimsical.

For instance, the black, open heart pendant from her Classic Collection is not so much capricious in terms of the actual design; however, Hashimoto’s thought process behind it suggests otherwise.  “I created a limited edition series of hand-cut Dark Heart Pendants to express my somewhat jaded feelings towards love and general Valentine’s Day shenanigans,” she says.

Brass Toby Pendant Necklace with Hand-Dyed
Sponge Balls from Classic Collection

Based in Australia, Hashimoto initially created jewelry that was a bit more scientific.  “I was trained at the College of Fine Arts in Sydney where the focus was on conceptual designs where the primary importance was using jewelry as a vessel to communicate ideas and inspiration. 

My interest in lab aesthetics and scientific matters led me to design with acrylic and polyester resin for their sterile and futuristic appearance.  Once I completed my degree, however, my acrylic designs took on a less serious tone.  I wanted my designs to be fun and whimsical—something that could be worn every day.”

Her subdued color choices complement her crisp, modern jewelry designs.  There is creamy white, black, moss green and mystic grey.  Her Toby Pendant Necklace, composed of small, hand-dyed sponges enclosed in brass, is a nice twist to a standard, classic jewelry item. 

Her respective Fan and Lace Earrings are just as lovely and ethereal as any piece of jewelry made with precious metal; and her signature Dolly Pendant, which reminds me of one of those delectable icing cookies, is very much a statement piece although the basis of the design is simple.
Acrylic and Sterling Silver Lace Earrings
from Seducing the Bowerbird Collection

“My work is lovingly and carefully handcrafted and finished.

The graphic-inspired motifs are transformed by hand into tactile designs that are both bold and feminine.”
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